Crazy news out of New York this week… the Mets keep winning! Oh, what’s that? That’s not the news everybody is giving hot, mostly idiotic takes on?
In case life wasn’t hard enough on Geno Smith – a struggling quarterback in one of the NFL’s crueler markets – now he’s set to miss six to ten weeks thanks to a sucker punch from (now former) teammate Ikemefuna “IK” Enemkpali. Just how little fanfare does Smith have? Most people are at least partially blaming him for getting cold-cocked.
It’s easy for everyone to gang up on Smith because he’s not very good: his brief career has largely been one low-light after another – aside from that randomly excellent game he had against Miami. You can guarantee if Enemkpali had done this to anyone else, even fellow not-great quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, nobody would question his release from the team. (Although good luck hitting Fitzy’s jaw through all that beard.)
I guess that’s just how football fans operate; it only constitutes assault if your QB rating is above 75.
As bad as this news is for Smith, it’s probably best for the Jets in the short term. They’ll enter the year with the veteran Fitzpatrick calling the shots, and his prior experience in Chan Gailey’s offense should be beneficial. In fact, if Fitzy, or perhaps Bryce Petty (crazier things have happened), can take control of this team in Geno’s absence, the 2013 second-round pick could find himself playing back-up once again when he returns.
Thanks to a very cheap contract, it seems unlikely the Jets will part ways with Smith next year, no matter where on the depth chart he finishes this season. But losing his chance to enter this “make-or-break season” as the starter can only hurt what was already a floundering career.
Though Smith missing games won’t be nearly as big a deal as say, not having Tom Brady, we still felt it was worth handicapping how the Jets will fair without Geno (probably better) and whether this spells the beginning of the end of his time in New York.
Geno Smith/New York Jets Odds:
What will the Jets record be while Smith is injured?
Opening the year at home against the equally hapless Browns gives the Jets a great opportunity to start the year off on the right foot. However, it’s tough sledding after that, with the Colts, Eagles, and trip to jolly old London for a date with the Dolphins. It sounds like Smith could be back as early as the Philadelphia game, so perhaps the Jets are a .500 squad without him. If not, they’re going to be up to their same old losing ways, just like when Geno was in charge.
Will Smith be named starter when he returns?
Fitzpatrick was actually cutting down on his turnovers last year in Houston, and had some good outings to boot. The Colts and Eagles aren’t exactly ball-hawking defenses, so unless he throws, like, seven interceptions against the Browns, he probably won’t have done anything to deserve a benching.
Will Smith ever start another game for the Jets?
If the Jets are as garbage as they were last year, Geno will likely get a few starts later in the season. But New York actually has a pretty easy schedule after the bye, and what looks like a darn good defense. If Fitzy can rattle off enough wins to keep the team relevant, Smith may not see the field this year. After that, who knows?
(Photo Credit: Eltiempo10 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
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